Camden area school panel offers mixed review on outsourcing custodial work

Posted Dec. 04, 2013, at 12:23 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 04, 2013, at 9:50 p.m.

ROCKPORT, Maine — Outsourcing custodial services will not save money for the high school but could result in savings at the lower grades, a committee has determined.

But no action is expected to be taken on the proposed outsourcing except for keeping the information on the back burner until the budget for 2014-2015 is developed next year, said School Administrative District 28 board member Tori Manzi. Manzi served on the Joint Committee to Investigate Contracting Custodial Services.

About 100 people turned out for the presentation made by the committee, Manzi said Wednesday. She said that the overwhelming sentiment from staff and parents was in support of keeping the district’s custodians.

The committee found that the Five-Town Community School District, which serves 9-12th grade students from Appleton, Camden, Hope, Lincolnville and Rockport, would not save any money if it contracted with a private company for custodial work. There was potential for saving money if the custodial services were given to a private contract for SAD 28, which oversees Camden-Rockport Middle School in Camden, the Camden-Rockport Elementary School in Rockport and the bus barn which also serves as the administrative offices in Camden.

But the board will need to weigh the potential savings against the value the current staff provides the community, the committee found. No further study is expected for the high school.

The two districts combined have 22 custodians.

The boards put together a committee that consisted of board members, school administrators and the president of the association that represents custodians. The committee put together information on the amount of work done by the custodians and then solicited bids from firms.

Three bids were received Nov. 8 — from CMC & Maintenance of Bangor, Maine Real Estate Management of Bangor and Service Master of Bangor — for costs for services for the next three years.

The projected cost of custodial services for the two districts in 2014-2015 is nearly $1.1 million with the current staff. Maine Real Estate’s bid for next year totals $982,000, Service Master’s totals $976,000, and CMC was $1.4 million.

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